Cadan Murley exclusive: 'I'm ready to fight for England spot with Harlequins' maverick trio by my side'

Cadan Murley exclusive: 'I'm ready to fight for England spot with Harlequins' maverick trio by my side'

Cadan Murley is determined to hit back to top gun status by capitalising on Harlequins’ “maverick” trio and claiming Test match lift-off.

Flying wing Murley bagged a hat-trick as England A thrashed Portugal 91-5 at Welford Road last month. The 24-year-old had forced his way into Steve Borthwick’s full Six Nations squad in 2023 but that did not yield a full Test cap.

Now the powerful finisher has trained his sights on hitting his attacking peak by playing off Quins’ improvisational axis of Alex Dombrandt, Danny Care and Marcus Smith.

Murley would happily take a crack at outside centre as his career develops, but having started out as a flanker the Cornwall-raised speedster refuses to limit himself to one role. Instead, Murley believes his path to full England recognition must be through tracking off his wing and looking for work.

“Wing’s where I’ve settled and I think I’ve moulded quite well out there,” Murley tells Standard Sport.

“But I’d love to play 13, I don’t see myself as a stand-on-the-edge kind of winger, I see myself as trying to get on the ball and get carries in different ways. So that’s maybe more like a centre than a winger.

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

“That’s like Jack Nowell, trying to emulate him in some ways, finding all sorts of different ways to get on the ball. And so you’re not tied down to being a winger on the pitch, I want to get on the ball as much as I can and show what I can do.”

Murley has hailed Quins’ stellar 8-9-10 combo of Dombrandt, Care and Smith, from which he often profits – but which also challenges him to hone his attacking running lines.

“You have to be able to read them, because you could probably look at all three as quite maverick as well,” adds Murley.

“They don’t necessarily stick to the normal structure. They see things that others don’t, so you’ve got to be able to anticipate that.

“Alex Dombrandt, the first thing he does when he breaks contact, he’s looking to get his hands free. So I want to be there on his shoulder, to try to flood through.

“Marcus, I know if he sees a gap, he’s got a big enough step to get back maybe two, three players, and then the inside hole is there off him.

“Then Danny’s tempo onto the ball off a breakdown, his little step and then offer, tying defenders in, is lovely just to run a little shoulder ball off.

“So little things like that, playing with them now for five or six years, you learn little tells. But it’s still definitely something I need to keep working on, to help try and get my hands on the ball a little bit more.”

Tommy Freeman and Immanuel Feyi-Waboso were able to transfer their club form to the Test arena for England in the Six Nations, with Murley encouraged and enthused by such breakthroughs. After several niggling injuries this term, he is now focused on hitting top form for the end of the campaign to push his case for both club and country.

“If I can get back to my very best form I’ll hopefully be able to show what I can do,” he says.

“When you’re in that England shirt you can’t shy away from a challenge”

Cadan Murley

“Steve Borthwick has given several guys big runs in the Six Nations and off the back of some scintillating form. Huge credit to those players for that, but I want to be challenging.

“Every week in the Premiership there’s a talented, quality young winger that you’re opposite, or is on the other team and you’ve got to fight for your place. That’s what Steve wants to see he wants to see players that are ready to stay in the fight.

“When you’re in that England shirt you can’t shy away from a challenge.”

Quins capitulated 52-7 to London rivals Saracens at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium last weekend. Murley admitted an eighth consecutive Premiership loss to their big derby rivals leaves a lasting impression – and vowed that there will be no repeat of that humiliation this weekend.

Quins host Bath at The Stoop on Saturday, where a win will be vital to keep their play-off hopes alive.

“We’re like a wounded animal this weekend, and Bath are flying,” said Murley.

“We’ve got to park last week’s loss but also retain a little bit of that hurt. It was humbling and embarrassing after the Saracens match.”

Harlequins will host Northampton Saints at Twickenham in Gallagher Premiership action for the Big Summer Kick-Off on Saturday, April 27. For tickets, log on to: